A MYSTERIOUS metal object found on the beach at Saltwick could have been used in the whaling industry.
Since the Gazette printed a picture of the find last week, thought to be almost 100 years old, we have been contacted by readers who think it could have been used for removing the blubber from whales.
Both Robert Anthony from Nottingham who was been holidaying in the town and Tony Lythe from Briggswath said the metalwork looks like a ‘flensing knife’.
Tony said: “Flensing was part of the process whereby long strips of whale blubber were removed from the whale’s carcass and sliced before being sent to the whaling ship’s boiling vats or ‘try works’ to separate the whale oil from the blubber.
“The upper end of the object looks like it is the remnants of the blade of the flensing knife, this blade would probably have been curved and around two feet in length and it appears to have a socket attachment which would allow for replacement of the blade.”
Mark Edwards from Whitby Museum said it certainly wasn’t a harpoon like first thought but it is a definite possibility it is a tool of the whaling trade.
He added: “What bothers me is the fact it has an iron handle. If you are to stand and hold that, it makes it very heavy but it is a possibility.”
The object was found by Mal Greenley and Rich Clarkson, bent in a loop and covered in marine debris. They thought it might have been part of an old anchor.